Week in Review: August 12th, 2018

The Week in Review is a collection of both all the goodness I’ve written during the past week around the internet, as well as a small pile of links I found interesting – generally endurance sports related. I’ve often wondered what to do with all of the coolness that people write, and while I share a lot of it on Twitter and Facebook, this is a better forum for sending it on to y’all. Most times these different streams don’t overlap, so be on the lookout at all these places for good stuff!

So with that, let’s get into the action!

DCRAINMAKER.com Posts in the Past Week:

Here’s all the goodness that ended up on the main page of DCRainmaker.com this past week:

Monday: Week in Review–August 6th, 2018
Tuesday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Thursday: Magene Gravat2 Smart Trainer In-Depth Review
Friday: VirtuPro’s Indoor Smart Bike: The Bike Zwift is investing in–First Look

YouTube Videos I Made This Week:

Here’s what hit the tubes over on the You of Tube, definitely don’t forget to subscribe there to get notified of videos the second they hit!

Stuff that I found interesting around the interwebs:

Here’s a not-so-small smattering of all the random things that I stumbled on while doing my civic duty to find the end of the Internet.

1) Pentagon restricts GPS devices and apps: This is no surprise, and really more of a formalization of what’s already in numerous scattered policies anyways. Essentially it allows base commanders to decide whether or not to allow GPS-based watches and apps on a base.  In more remote regions, this makes more sense. Whereas at major US bases in the US, less so.  Of course, I’d expect you’ll see implementations all over the map here in real life – as that’s typically the variance you get between different CO’s on different bases.

2) TrainingPeaks announces subjective feedback: This allows people to use smiley faces in their training logs. Well, it’s a bit more than that, but that’s roughly it. Other platforms have done this for a while, and Suunto even allows you to pick a smiley face as the very first thing you do after ending a workout (before the summary screen).

3) Cyclist completes first successful ‘Everesting’ of Mt. Everest itself: Holy balls that’s a lot of non-stop riding, especially in an incredibly difficult place to cycle.

4) Samsung announces Galaxy Watch: This is a successor of the Gear lineup from the past, and follows mostly on-time with Samsung’s roughly once-yearly announcement of new connected watches. This adds in cellular connectivity and brings back Spotify (not all Samsung watches had it).  It also gains some additional sport/fitness modes too. I’m undecided if I’ll review one or not.  It starts shipping Aug 24th.

5) Dutch teens cycle an average of 2,000km per year: Having lived now in Amsterdam a few months – this is definitely no surprise (actually, kinda surprised it’s not slightly higher).

6) The Volunteer Who Keeps NYC Citi Bike Running: Cool behind the scenes story on one volunteer that puts in pretty incredible hours to help the system keep cookin’.

(Apparently I didn’t surf the internet enough this week. I promise to do better next week!)

Sports Technology Software/Firmware Updates This Week:

Each week I quickly highlight some of the new firmware, app, software and website service updates that I see go out. If you’re a sports technology company and release an update – shoot me a quick note (just one-liners are perfect, or Tweet it at me is even better) and I’ll make mention of it here. If I don’t know about it, I won’t be able to post about it. Sound good?  Oh – and if you want to get a head start on things, this page is a great resource for watching Garmin and a few other firmware updates.

Garmin Edge 820 BETA Firmware update: A pile of new features including Physio TrueUp, crapton of bug fixes.

Garmin Edge 520 Plus BETA firmware update: Same as Edge 820 (mostly).

Garmin Edge 1030 BETA firmware update: A pile of new features, included extended display. Also, a crapton of bug fixes.

Garmin Fenix 5 Series BETA firmware update: Minor swim bug fix.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus Series BETA firmware update: Minor improvements for CIQ and music providers.

Garmin Forerunner 735XT BETA firmware update: Minor swim bug fix.

Garmin Forerunner 935 BETA firmware update: Minor swim bug fix.

Garmin Vivomove HR firmware update: Minor bug fix.

Lezyne 2017 & 2018 Devices Firmware Update: A bunch of fixes, along with some slight improvements.u

Thanks for reading!


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  1. fisao

    Hi Ray, thanks for all your work.

    I am sure that there would be quite a bit of interest for a Galaxy watch review!

  2. Thomas

    I would be interested in hearing your verdict on the new Galaxy Watch. If the battery life is about a week like promised, it would be enough for me. But are the GPS and HR good enough for working out?
    It is always painful to see a “real smartwatch” with their colorful and bright screens and the look back to my Garmin 😀

  3. The Garmin Edge updates are beta, not GA.

    • Ahh, good catch. Thanks!

    • Clive

      Even though the new firmware updates for Garmin Edge 820 are beta. Do you think it’s worth updating using this new firmware update? The reason I ask is I can never get my FTP to show on the graph on the Garmon connect app.

    • I’d maybe check out the Garmin Forums first and see if there are any major issues on this bit.

      The thing is, most of the code you’re seeing in these betas are just straight ports from other Garmin fitness products that have already ‘gone-live’ with it. So that helps a bit.

    • Clive

      Thanks Ray

    • OperationOne

      there is some madness in betas firmware for 935, from 9.60 for each new useless gadget introduced, two key functions ceased to function correctly. this madness at the moment in at 9.75, that broken also …pool swim (no GPS involved!). any news about this? at the moment OWS, pool swim and a lot of other key functions (for a triathlete) are at least useless. that’s really crazy.

    • Eli

      Thats why its called beta and why they say if you have a problem email:

    • OperationOne

      ehm. the RELEASES non-beta that broke quite everything were 9.60 and 9.70. non-beta. oh, you are right: 9.73 beta was even worst than crazy releases, that’s correct.

  4. Pablo Gonzalez

    About the Samsung watch…
    What if I like to run and I want my wife to know where am I, but I don’t like carrying my big as$ iphone. What are my options? I have the 735xt by the way


    • Either an Android Wear or Apple Watch LTE device or more or less your options. And honestly, within that I’d really just narrow it down based on what phone you use (since Apple Watch doesn’t work with Android Wear, and Android Wear and Samsung watches do work with Apple but not well. There are too many concessions IMHO).

      That, or a standalone tracker like the Quarq Qollector: link to dcrainmaker.com

  5. Eli

    I’d argue it makes sense to limit GPS devices at lots of US bases. Lots of reasons including keeping track of deployment patterns, when the military does something unexpected, etc. Keep metadata your adversaries have to a minimum

    • Neil Jones

      Kinda tricky one to implement and police though – do you impose an outright ban on smartphones, practically all of which have GPS? Big welfare issue if you do that for the troops keeping in touch with family back home. And how practical is it to ban just apps using GPS, when the OSs use location services for core functionality (e.g. geo-tagging photos)? Apps like Strava and Garmin, where publishing your actual route taken (albeit after the fact) is core functionality might be obvious, but how do you role those and other apps where location data may be secondary (e.g. Facebook) into a properly defined policy that it’s fair to expect the average non-techy smartphone user to understand?

      I guess you can just insist that GPS rx is turned off at the OS level, but ultimately you’ve got a job on your hands if you want to ensure people are compliant with that.

    • Dave Lusty

      No need to ban devices or have rules. It’s pretty trivial to block GPS signals, and US military are well within their rights to do so. They regularly do this on and around ships (as do the UK Navy). This can block out huge areas quite easily to protect a base.
      They could also use ground based D-GPS to spoof the location, although this wouldn’t be too effective since the routines would all still be visible albeit in a different location.
      Operational systems would be fine since they know where the starting point is anyway, and the military have other options for electronic navigation besides GPS.

    • The challenge to blocking GPS signals is that it impacts other things that are actually legit.

      For example, various DoD groups are actually using the Tactix lineup for legit purposes.

    • Eli

      I’m not arguing how practical it is to implement, just that there is a valid reason to not want that data to leak out. There are other factors that should influence the final decision

  6. Harm

    It is a shame more and more Dutch teens ride e-bikes nowadays…

  7. Stefan

    Interesting stuff from the Interwebs suggestion: Berlin‘s brand-new „Tetris“ Cyclepath (in German, with picture). Note the perfect 90-deg angles. link to sueddeutsche.de

  8. Remco Verdoold

    On the Dutch teens note. The world is quite changing a lot though. Where I had to cycle 8km to school there and back at the end of the day. And in the morning did my newspaper delivery route and my 30 min swimming round. However on my daily 11km trips to work I see most kids to school actually have an e-assisted bike.

    • Interesting. I wonder if that’s more outside the city or not?

      In Amsterdam, I don’t see too many teens on e-bikes (at least near where I live). Most are just standard bikes.

      Still, as you imply via your text, the total annual KM number actually seems a bit low to me knowing Dutch cycling culture. Heck, I’ve put in some 600KM on the cargo bike since June alone!

    • Remco Verdoold

      Yes, in the far east (Eibergen) and south-east (outside Eindhoven).

      But yes the number seems low to me too. I used to do well over 5k a year, but of course there are many that only have to do 500 a year.

    • Patrick Utrecht

      I think you need to have a certain minimum distance before you can convince a parent to invest in an expensive e-bike. Said distance is less likely to be reached in city areas. Also city areas in the Netherlands are considered more prone to theft (bike theft in particular). Wether the latter is true is not really relevant, it’s what insurance companies hold to be true and a general opinion.
      For what it’s worth: I used to cycle around 30km / day or roughly 200 / week with all the rest in my teens but that’s coming from the country side with nothing close to my house (shops, friends). But for every person living far off there’s usually 3 others that live close to a school (doing less than 3km one-way) pulling down the average. But it’s for sure a very popular way to move around until you reach your twenties 😉

  9. Timothy Flynn

    the optical hr sensor on the new galaxy watch appears new/redesigned, resembles the polar sensor look.

  10. Bill

    Re the Galaxy watch – they make some pretty impressive claims re battery life but in the linked video, at around the 16 second mark, it says “Battery 23% – about 2 hrs of life remaining”. I assume that means if you are working out, the battery lasts about 8 hours, and the several-day battery life applies if you are not using any smart functionaly?

  11. Dan

    I second that. I’d be very interested in some kind of review of the Galaxy Watch. I’m still trying to decide on a smart watch to wear all the time. If it’s good enough to use for swim/bike/run, then I want to know! At the moment, the Apple watch just doesn’t cut it, so I’ll keep using my Garmin for activities.

  12. Simon

    any thoughts on the Gisnt bicycles power meter. It’s being delivered standard on some bikes and is said to be designed in house.
    Seems a number of brands are going down this path.

    • Yeah, I haven’t seen any real data on it yet. The one review I did see was more of a bike review, and they didn’t cover power meter accuracy at all.

      Given Giant says they developed it internally (versus going with a known-good OEM partner), I have my doubts.

    • Simon

      Will be interesting to see how it compares

  13. Alun

    I would really like you to either review or take a look at the Galaxy Watch. I’ve currently got a Fenix 3, missed the HR by 2 months and can’t bring myself to splash out on what the 5X(+) is going for.

    I’d really appreciate an informed opinion of how it tracks heart rate and GPS position compared to Garmin’s more dedicated offerings.


  14. Paal

    Hi! Please review the galaxy watch 🙂

  15. AIXroot

    yes, I would also appreciate a review of the new Samsung Galaxy Watch and a comparison with e.g. a Fenix-5 😉

    BTW I love your reviews!

  16. Frag

    Would love it if you review the galaxy watch

  17. Tom

    please, mr. rainmaker, revue the Samsung galaxy watch – it is a very interesting product, and it seems to be a sports-watch, too.

    Thanks a lot for the best reviews

    Many greetings from Switzerland.